An Illustrated Guide to Life – Featuring Ridley Rabbit

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In our society today, a lot of people get lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life and they often forget the important things; the little things that keep us healthy and happy and human. So today, my little friend Ridley the Rabbit is going to give you some sound advice. He may be just a bunny, but he knows what’s truly important. So here’s our first segment of “An Illustrated Guide to Life – Featuring Ridley Rabbit”

My Furry Bucket List

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I am a huge animal lover. In fact, I’ll openly admit that I typically enjoy the company of animals more than people. Living in an apartment, I can currently only enjoy the company of your “usual” house pets. Right now, my two fur-babies are my dog, Aussie, and my rabbit, Ridley. Yet, I have big dreams of expanding my furry family someday. We’re not just talking cats, dogs, and rabbits though… I am a very ambitious animal lover, and below I have compiled an illustrated list (in no particular order) of my top ten most wanted future family members. I’ll warn you that several of them are somewhat unusual…

10. TEACUP PIG
I yearn for the day that I can wake up to this cute little wrinkly snout. I’m not naïve, I know that teacup pigs do not stay teeny-tiny, and I’m fine with that. One pound or 100 pounds, this “little” piggy would always have my heart.

9. PYGMY GOAT

They prance, they bleat, and they have the stomach anatomy to eat just about anything. Plus, they’re just so freakin’ adorable. Pygmy goats first stole my heart when I volunteered at a petting zoo when I was 13. I bonded with one goat named Oreo, and I got him to head-butt a bratty girl that I had a profound distaste for. At that moment, I knew that someday I would be welcoming one of these fellas into my home.

8.) HEDGEHOG

I can’t even deal with the cuteness of these guys. While I could technically adopt one in my current living situation, my apartment is a bit too compact for more than one type of small and furry… Or should I say small and quill-y? And there’s always the concern of my dog thinking that the hedgehog is a ball for him to play fetch with.

7. CAPYBARA

Isn’t it majestic? Who wouldn’t be drawn to the world’s largest rodent, weighing in at 100+ pounds when fully grown. Though I can’t imagine what it’d be like cleaning up after him, I’d love to hang out with a capybara. [Side note: I have yet to find anywhere that I can see one of these in person… Can anyone tell me where I need to go?]

6. SUGAR GLIDER

When I envision having a sugar glider in my home, I can see it flying every which way from the tops of our many bookshelves to the comfort of our couch and back again. It’d be like chillin’ with Rocky from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. And I would totally buy a pouch so I could carry him with me. Sure, they’re nocturnal and I know that they are noisy little critters at night, but so am I; so I think it’ll all work out.

5. TASMANIAN DEVIL

Here’s another marsupial that I’d love to be in the company of. From my understanding they are carnivorous, ornery, and prefer solitude over interaction… Sounds very similar to my significant other (I love you, Paul!). It’s true; I have no problem with cranky animals. I can completely relate to the sensation of wanting everyone to bugger off and just let me eat and stay up all night without being bothered. This is my kind of animal.

4. CHINCHILLA

“I shall call him squishy, and he shall be mine, and he shall be my squishy.” I have been wanting one of these for a looooong time. I’ve done a lot of research, and I know they are somewhat high-maintenance pets. So is my rabbit, though, so I got this.

3. BENGAL CAT

I doubt I’ll ever be able to call one of these my own, as they are pretty rare and thus high-priced and hard-to-obtain…. But one can dream.

2. FENNEC FOX

SQUEE!!!! Just look at that face! Fennec foxes are sort of like a cross between a cat and a dog. Highly energetic, and open to snuggling, I feel these foxes are way too underrated as companions. And just for the record, they bark — they will never, ever say GERING-DING-DING-A-DING or the likes…. Bonus.

1. ALPACA

Did you know that alpacas sing? Well, technically they hum, but it’s quite melodic and soothing, Put that in combination with their soft fleece, and you have yourself a perfectly therapeutic animal. Just try to avoid their spit.

So that was my bucket list of pets. I hope you found it equal parts adorable and informative. Until next time….!


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When Impulse Shopping leads to Lifetime Committment

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This is the story of how I ended up with Aussie. He was born on a ranch in western Colorado; the runt in a litter of nine Cattle Dog puppies. Nine unplanned puppies, as far as the rancher was concerned, so the litter ended up at a local farm and feed store that also doubled as a shelter for unwanted farm dogs.

I did not plan on getting a puppy when I went into the store that day. I was simply going in to buy rabbit food and litter for my bunnies. The way the shop was laid out, though, made it impossible to enter any area without first passing the wall of dogs. I refer to it as ‘the wall of dogs’ because it was literally a wall made up of large dog crates that housed several puppies in each… Each except for one. One crate in the middle had only one puppy inside. He was black and white with sad brown eyes and a round little potbelly. He sat very still near the front of the crate and rested one oversized paw on the door. As I walked by, his eyes followed me. I tried to look away, to ignore the pleading gaze, but an invisible force stopped me. I stared at him. He stared back at me.

“Hi,” I said.
*thump. thump. thump.*  Went his white-tipped tail slowly beating against the floor of the crate. Other than that, he remained still and continued to stare at me. A shop attendant approached me from the front desk and asked me if I wanted to handle the puppy.
“Yes!” I blurted out; though my brain was saying ‘NO! You don’t need a puppy. Get the rabbit supplies and run away!’

Rarely does my brain get much say in the matter… About 30 seconds later I found myself in a room behind the wall of dogs, and the attendant was placing the puppy in my arms. As calm as the little furball had been behind bars, he erupted into a frenzy of excitement as soon as I was holding him. He wiggled and flailed around, rolled on the ground and contorted himself so he could bite his own tail, and then he hopped up and rammed into me like a charging goat before spinning in a circle and plopping down in my lap where he began to gnaw on my hand.

“I’ll take him.” I told the attendant.

I won’t go into the adopter’s remorse I felt for several weeks after this major life decision… Not now at least. I won’t talk about the heathen beast this puppy was for the first two years of his life, or all of the work it took me to mold him into a socially acceptable companion. I will save that for another post at another time.

I will say, though, that I learned more life lessons from this puppy than I learned from most people I’ve met. He taught me patience through his relentless refusal to obey me; loyalty and commitment – because I promised to care for him no matter how much of an ass he chose to be (and he often chose to be a BIG ass.) Most importantly, though, he taught me unconditional love.

Six years have passed and Aussie is now a well-behaved and loving, albeit ornery and overly-communicative dog. You will hear a lot more about him if you follow my blog. It’s been an interesting relationship between my pup and I, but I regret nothing. The best things in life are worth working hard for. And the greatest of characters can never truly be tamed.